Winged Warrior – The Wiseman E-Type

July 11th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

Sports car racing had changed since it was first introduced as the secondary event to the ‘main feature’ in the early 1950s. This was a time when virtually all of the competing cars were genuine factory-built, roadgoing sports cars with a greater level of performance and roadholding than your average family saloon. That changed very [...]

  • The Carlos Neate Skyline GT-B in action at the one-off 1967 Timaru Road Race. Nobody really took a lot of notice of the car at this time – attention being captured by the battle up front beween the Custaxie, Mustang and fastback Anglias (Photo Terry Marshall)

The Carlos Neate 1967 Prince Skyline GT-B

February 29th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

There were a couple of cars under covers in Bruce Moore’s workshop off Moorhouse Avenue in Christchurch when I walked in – and one of them was a car I had not seen since 1967. It was the car I had driven up from Oamaru to see this day in late January 2020. And it [...]

  • Deep in thought – George Begg (Photo Terry Marshall)

George Niccol Begg – Racing Car Constructor Part 2

February 29th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

The sports car campaign had been expensive, particularly when the NZIGP organisation had promised it would help with travel expenses to take the car to the Grand Prix meeting, but then reneged. There was nothing unusual about that casual treatment of South Island drivers by the NZIGP in those days. So, for his next car, [...]

  • On track and ahead of the pack

An Impulse Built On An Inspiration

October 4th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

You may remember the British car brand Austin. Up in smoke along with most of the rest of the British motor industry due to doing just about everything wrong that was humanly possible to do wrong. “Orstin of England” latterly produced dull but honest family transport, and the popular image of an Austin owner would [...]

  • The writer’s first visit was 1960 where John Mansel won an exciting race, showing skill and courage to win in the Maserati 250F. His distinctive ‘leaning’ driving style is evident (Photo Euan Sarginson/Terry Marshall Archives)

Classic Motorsport – Those Waimate Meetings

July 8th, 2019|Tags: , , |

There’s a special place in the hearts of all those who witnessed any of the Waimate 50 race meetings, from the first one on January 31, 1959, to the final on February 5, 1966. In many ways the Waimate 50 was a special event, and the first Waimate meeting was also a milestone in the [...]

  • Doug Algie’s Tucker V8 in its workshop – the street outside his parent’s house – with a crowd of young admirers and future Formula One fans

The Man Who Sat in Nuvolari’s Seat

May 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The first time I saw Doug Algie he was sitting behind the huge steering wheel of a car that once had been driven by the great Tazio Nuvolari. It was February 1966 at a low-key club race meeting on a tidal area near the township of Karitane, north of Dunedin. Doug was driving an enormous [...]

  • David Simpson today

The Summer of ’66

February 24th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

In the sixties, the annual trek to Blenheim for the season-opening motor race meeting was always an adventure. The circuit was around the streets of the nearby township of Renwick – and it was always a matter of argument whether the ‘w’ was silent. There were three Renwick (or was it Rennick?) circuits, the first [...]

  • Dick Bennetts has helped 14 drivers into Formula One — among them the great Ayrton Senna

The Perfection of West Surrey Racing

December 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I was stumbling around in the ruins of a castle deep in the Pennines in northern England when my reveries of knights in armour were interrupted by the sound of a dog barking. So few people ring me these days that it took a moment or two for me to realise it was my ringtone [...]

  • Louvres and spokes – the exquisite style of Ettore Bugatti

French Blue

October 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

After the brief mention of Thomas Pitt Cholmondeley-Tapper in the last issue of NZ Classic Driver I was astounded to receive a message from Andy Datlen at Auto Restorations in Christchurch: “We have the Bugatti here, do you want to have a look at it?” So, on a late September Saturday morning, I squeezed into [...]

  • His skills as a driver trainer are almost black magic. Today he’s given up racing, but continues to train the world’s top drivers – and play music!

The Huapai Kid – Classic Racer

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The international motor racing world knows him as ‘Rob Wilson’, but to me he is Robert Wilson – and always will be. I make no apologies for referring to him as Robert in this story. He left New Zealand for the UK in 1972 at the age of 20, having owned just one car (an [...]